The electronic sports, or simply ‘esports’ industry is among the fasting growing in the world of sport. Each esports event sees the very best professional gamers pitted against one another, competing on multiplayer video games such as Overwatch, Starcraft 2 and CS:GO. Much like any other sport, fans flock to sportsbooks looking to put their esports knowledge to the test, spice up their viewing experience and of course, land a profit! Not sure where to start when it comes to betting on esports? Let us take you through everything you need to know before you place your wagers!
While the popularity of esports has skyrocketed in recent years, competitive gaming is nothing new. Players went head to head in gaming tournaments such as the Space Invaders Championship as early as the 1980s! Of course, gaming has come a long way since then, with online gameplay allowing players across the world to face off pretty much whenever and wherever they please. The turn of the millennium saw the launch of the largest esports league today – Major League Gaming, as well as the Electronic Sports World Cup.
The emergence of online streaming services such as Twitch has done wonders for the popularity of esports, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch the top esports competitions. Physical viewership numbers have seen a similar spike – 2013’s Season 3 League of Legends World Championship took place in a sold-out Staples Center! With over 100 million esports fans across the globe and cash prizes in the seven-figure region, it’s safe to say esports has well and truly arrived, earning its place alongside more traditional sports such as football. In fact, viewership for League of Legends and DOTA 2’s most prestigious tournaments has trumped huge sporting events such as the NBA Finals and MLB World Series in the past.
Betting on esports
As every major tournament passes, the hype train surrounding esports only picks up speed. The prize pools become more lucrative and the view counts continue to grow at an astronomical rate. It should come as no surprise then, that a huge number of esports bettors speculate on the outcomes of esports games, much like fans of basketball and football.
Esports Betting Markets
Of course, any esports bettors wants to see the returns of their successful predictions. In search of potential profit, punters head to the top online betting sites, looking for wagers that return great value. The betting markets on offer vary depending on the game of your choice, however, there are a number of common options that you’ll find when betting on just about any esports game. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular esports betting markets.
- Outright betting – The outright betting markets of any sport simply allow you to place wagers on the outcome of a particular event. An example of an outright esports bet would be backing the winner of the League of Legends World Championship.
- Match result – Often referred to as the ‘money line’, placing this wager simply means betting on the outcome of a match. Here, you’ll almost always be required to choose between two individuals or teams.
- Handicap – In a matchup between two teams or individual gamers, you’ll usually find that there’s a bookmakers favourite. In other words, one side is deemed as most likely to win. In these instances, you might struggle to find good betting value. To level the playing field and attract bettors, esports betting sites place a negative handicap on the favourites and a positive handicap on the underdog.
- Totals – Commonly known as the over/under, these markets allow punters to bet on the number of specific events -such as kills or map rounds- being over or under a predetermined figure set by the bookmaker.
In-play esports betting
Early esports bettors were limited to pre-match betting markets, but today you can expect to find a number of live markets available at the best esports betting sites! You’ll be able to place wagers on markets such as the match result and totals while your favourite events take place. Savvy bettors often turn to in-play betting when looking for more favourable betting opportunities, depending on how a game is unfolding.
Compare welcome bonuses
When choosing between the best esports sportsbooks, the odds and betting options on offer often don’t vary enough to filter down your shortlist to just one. Looking for a game-changer? Keep an eye out for the welcome offer. As its name suggests, this bonus offer is reserved for new customers only and is used by just about every gambling operator to attract new bettors. These bonuses come in various forms, from huge matched first deposits to free bet offers. While it may be tempting to pick out the biggest bonus, it’s important to choose an offer that suits your betting style. Before signing up, always take a look through the terms and conditions to figure out if a welcome bonus is really as enticing as it appears to be.
How to bet for real money on esports:
- Choose a top online bookmaker
While esports are definitely growing in popularity, esports betting is still in its infancy. With that in mind, choosing the right online bookmaker is very important – not every sportsbook provides comprehensive coverage. Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork for you. Rather than going from one site to another looking for the best esports coverage, you can simply choose from our list of the top licensed betting sites. Our expert team has carried out research and scoured the internet to find out exactly what bettors want and which bookies cater to their needs best. All you need to do is pick your favourite sportsbook.
- Sign up and deposit to claim your bonus
The hard part is over. You’ve chosen your bookmaker, now you just need to sign up. You can do this via a desktop or mobile platform. All you’ll need to do is provide some personal details like your name, phone number and email address. This is for security purposes and is standard practice at almost every betting site. With that part cleared, it’s time to make your first deposit. All the bookmakers on our list offer a variety of options ranging from cards and e-wallets to prepaid vouchers. If you’ve signed up to a sportsbook that offers a deposit bonus, your account should be credited immediately.
- Pick an esports game and choose your market
Choose from the list of sports usually found on the home page and pick an event. You can take your pick from ongoing tournaments or events in the near future. Once you’ve found a game or match up you like the look of, check out what markets are available. Remember, you’re not restricted to just betting on the outright winner. Delve deeper and see if you can find some value in other markets.
- Live streams
Some bookmakers now offer the option of streaming live esports. So you can watch the action unfold and watch your bets play out in real-time! Not only is this great entertainment but it also helps to develop your understanding of the sport if you’re a beginner. You might pick up some useful insight that you can put to use next time you place a bet.
Place your bets
Now that we’ve taken you through the ins and outs of betting on esports and the various bonuses on offer, you’ll know exactly what to expect when you bet on the next big esports event! Whether you’re an avid DOTA 2 fan or a complete newcomer to the scene, our carefully curated list of top esports betting sites is sure to provide you with a new favourite. Once you’ve picked out an option that ticks all your boxes, all you need to do is sign up, claim your exclusive bonus and bet on esports today!